by Carl V Phillips
In a move whose dishonesty, flouting of government ethics, and abuse of the interests of the citizenry are as great as NSA spying or concocting fake casus belli, the CDC has announced that it plans to try to discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. The plan is recounted in this Wall Street Journal article. This effort could easily cause more American deaths than the Iraq war; indeed, if it takes off, it could cause more total deaths.
CDC’s decades of anti-THR lies about smokeless tobacco have played a major role in discouraging smokers from switching throughout the world, and the toll from that is huge. (Ironically, many vapers and e-cigarette supporters still believe those lies. Stockholm syndrome maybe?) That effort caused the early deaths of tens of thousands, if not millions, of people. Now they seem to be ramping up their simmering attacks on e-cigarettes to another full-blown homicidal campaign.
The article also mentions California’s recently launched anti-ecig lie campaign. That has been extensively covered elsewhere, so I will not go into that one, other than to note that these simultaneous disinformation campaigns do not exactly seem like a coincidence. From the WSJ:
Print and radio ads starting Monday target e-cigarette users who continue to smoke traditional cigarettes. They depict an e-cigarette user named Kristy alongside a caption that reads: “I started using e-cigarettes but kept smoking. Right up until my lung collapsed.”
Readers may find that this sounds a bit familiar. In a previous post, I reported on CDC efforts to pay money for stories of smokers who tried e-cigarettes and then got sick. Here is what I wrote about that:
[There is] little doubt about their plan. They are going to find a handful of people who employed THR but still got diseases that are sometimes caused by smoking. They are then going to declare that these particular cases of the disease were caused by “tobacco” (though they have no way of knowing whether that is true) and insinuate that they would not have occurred had the smoker just quit by using the smoking cessation products CDC touts rather than pursuing THR (which they have even less basis for claiming).
The details of the recruitment suggest they are focused on disinforming smokers about the benefits of reducing consumption (perhaps they will lie and imply it offers no benefit at all). But you can be sure that they will try to discourage all THR by implying that the low-risk product was part of the problem, because it contributed to the disease or kept people smoking who otherwise would have quit. Never mind that there is no evidence that either of these occurs — they are going to insinuate it anyway.
Did I nail that or what?
Did e-cigarettes cause “Kristy’s” disease? Obviously not, but that is not the message that CDC is intentionally implying. Would she have quit smoking if she had not used e-cigarettes? Almost certainly not, but CDC might go so far as to explicitly say that, and undoubtedly will intentionally imply it. Was she better off thanks to partial substitution? Almost certainly, but CDC is going to say otherwise. Was the disease she got even caused by smoking? Any real scientist would tell you that it is impossible to know, but CDC is sadly lacking in such scientists.
CDC’s message is clear: If you smoke, please just keep doing it. Do not try to substitute something because it might not work perfectly. The rest of their message will, of course, be that you should instead try things that basically do not work at all.
Or to put it in their own words (from the WSJ):
The antismoking campaign has been expanded to include e-cigarettes because the majority of users aren’t giving up smoking, said Tim McAfee, senior medical officer at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Our core message is cutting down is not sufficient,” he added.
And how, exactly, does discouraging substitution — even partial substitution — address that? Obviously it does not. It is safe to say that this “antismoking campaign” will cause far more smoking than it prevents. Indeed, it is not clear how the anti-ecig message could possibly reduce smoking. What model of human behavior could they be working from, that would say “maligning e-cigarettes is a good way to get people to quit smoking”?
The answer is that they have no such model, and that is not their real motivation. CDC does not want to people to quit smoking or cut back if they do it the “wrong” way. I have written extensively about the motives of anti-THR liars. The CDC crowd seems to be partially motivated by the most common reason: they are anti-tobacco extremists who know that use of low-risk products will ruin their dream of a tobacco-free world. But I think they, more than average for the anti-tobacco cabal, are motivated by resentment, the fact that the problem of smoking is being solved in spite of their efforts rather than because of them. They are jealous and desperately defensive, and they are going to kill people because of it.
Their preferred “proven” smoking cessation methods are proven to barely work (if even that). But to give up on them would mean admitting that their careers were complete wastes of taxpayer dollars and that they killed more smokers than they helped. Some delving into this by the reporter would have been nice. At least he did publish the usual “balance” counterpoint:
“The anti-side has been spewing crap like this constantly, but we continue to grow,” said Jason Healy, president and founder of Blu, a large e-cigarette brand owned by Lorillard Inc., maker of Newport smokes. “People know the truth about e-cigarettes,” he added.
Kudos for printing “crap”, though I would have gone with “lies”. A few points off for the inappropriate hyphen. And big points off for this:
Last April, the Food and Drug Administration issued preliminary rules that would prohibit sales to minors and require e-cigarette makers to submit products for approval. It expects to publish a final rule in June. States have proposed more than 60 bills this year aimed at reining in the industry.
Not mentioning that the FDA rules would ban 99.99% of products on the market is inexcusable. And that state bill count is way low. We are tracking well over a hundred of them that are currently in play. Granted that a few of these are aimed exclusively at hurting vapers themselves rather than the industry (i.e., they just prohibit proprietors from allowing vaping in their private venues), but I suspect that the reporter was not making that distinction.
E-cigarettes are widely viewed as far less harmful than traditional cigarettes, which release more than 60 carcinogens through combustion. But many questions remain about the long-term health impact of e-cigarettes, and recent studies found the devices can release the carcinogen formaldehyde.
Not smoking is “widely viewed” as far less harmful than smoking? Go figure. The main “question that remains” is “are these bad for you at all?” Probably, but that is not clear, and obviously that is not what is implied by this statement. And, yes, if you heat organic chemicals up to extreme temperatures you will get formaldehyde. I would like to think that the reporter’s computer got so frustrated with him transcribing these CDC lies without attribution that it got hot enough to produce formaldehyde.
Dr. McAfee at the CDC said that if e-cigarette makers want to promote their products as smoking-cessation tools, they should apply to be classified as nicotine-replacement-therapy devices like patches, gums and lozenges. Such a classification typically requires years of clinical trials. “There are hundreds of manufacturers and not a single one has chosen to go down this pathway,” said Dr. McAfee.
Um, yeah, so? Did you maybe accidentally explain the very good reason for that, Tim, when you pointed out that the process requires tens of millions of dollars in clinical trials to study a product that will be years behind the tech once those are finished?
It is telling that CDC thinks that this observation is somehow relevant to justifying their campaign of lies. It shows that they are inclined to use the dedicated liar’s tactic of throwing around every innuendo they can possibly think of. This is not the behavior of responsible government officials or real scientists. But it also helps nail down that question of motivation: Those evil vapers and the companies that meet their demand will not play the game by our concocted, inappropriate, and counterproductive rules. The punishment for that is death by continued smoking. The tribunal has spoken.